BMU reports hefty surplus

WELLS RIVER—The pandemic’s impact threaded nearly every topic covered by the Blue Mountain Union School board meeting on Oct. 6.
In a budget review of the academic year that ended June 30, business manager Linda Metcalf said unaudited financial statements revealed a hefty surplus despite decreased revenue.
Despite being short about $350,000 in revenue for the year, Metcalf said on Oct. 6 that expenses also were significantly down due to COVID-19. She noted a decrease in spending on services, supplies, and activities, all of which resulted in a bottom line of $800,000 less in budgeted expenses. The net result was a surplus of about $465,000 going into the current fiscal year, which began July 1.

Corn maze finds new adventure

BATH—This is the fourth season of the Collins Farm Corn Maze on Route 302 in Bath, but this year there is a new twist. In addition to the corn maze, a second attraction, the Collins Farm Adventure Trail, blends escape room with obstacle course.
“It’s an artistic gift,” said creator Corey Collins with a chuckle. “I have walked through corn mazes where the only objective is finding the exit. I knew I could make one that would be more fun.”

DRB hearing held on detention center

NEWBURY—If there is support for the state’s proposed juvenile detention center in Newbury, there was little to be found inside the Newbury Elementary School gymnasium on Saturday.
Nearly 100 people turned out for the Newbury Development Review Board hearing on the Covered Bridge Treatment Center. As many as 56 people were on Zoom.
After more than five hours of presentations, questions, answers, comments, the hearing was continued to Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. The plan, DRB members said, is to hold the meeting at the same location or outside on the village common.

Divisive concepts bill reviewed at board meeting

WOODSVILLE—New Hampshire’s Divisive Concepts law and efforts to increase diversity and multicultural offerings in the curriculum will be on the agenda next month after discussion on the subjects was largely tabled on Monday night.
The Haverhill Cooperative School Board will also hold a public hearing on Nov. 15 in advance of voting on how to use $315,000 in relief aid and state adequacy funds.

Bridge closure coming to downtown Bradford

BRADFORD—A downtown Bradford artery will be temporarily blocked next week when the Route 5 bridge over the Waits River undergoes repairs.
The bridge is scheduled to be closed on Oct. 11. Shauna Clifford of the Vermont Agency of Transportation said they want to reopen the bridge sometime on Oct. 13.
It could reopen sooner and it’s possible it might not reopen until Oct. 14, although she was skeptical it would remain closed beyond that.

24-hour run returns, expands

BRADFORD—The Devil’s Den Ultra is back and promises to be another exciting yet stamina-challenging race on Wright’s Mountain this weekend.
The DD Ultra is a fundraiser for the Josh Pallotta Fund, Inc., a nonprofit named in honor of the U.S. Marine who died by suicide September 23, 2014.

Board delays airport decision

WOODSVILLE—After a lengthy public hearing on Monday night, Haverhill Selectboard members ruled out shortening or lengthening the runway at Dean Memorial Airport in North Haverhill.
Now, board members will take two weeks to consider whether to relocate a portion of Airport Road or discontinue the road near the runway as part of a package of safety upgrades that the airport needs per the findings of an FAA-sanctioned study.

Major transit hub opens in Bradford

BRADFORD—Calling it a model for future public transit centers in rural Vermont and beyond, officials opened the Upper Valley Community Transportation Center with fanfare on the afternoon of Sept. 22.
The facility will be the base for Tri Valley Transit’s fleet of buses serving the Connecticut River corridor of the Upper Valley. It replaces the so-called “bus barn” behind Bradford Vet Clinic that TVT had been using since its predecessor, Stagecoach, first started serving the area.

Land purchase moves forward

BRADFORD—There will be no revote on the recent land purchase authorized by Bradford and Newbury residents.
According to discussion at last week’s Oxbow Unified Union School District board meeting, the Checkerberry Lane property will be used as an outdoor classroom for Newbury Elementary School students.
At a special meeting held on Aug. 17, voters approved spending $68,000 of the unallocated funds left over from the 2020 fiscal year to buy the 10.2-acre piece of undeveloped, forested land in Newbury Village.

One chapter closes, another opens on Main Street

BRADFORD—Midnight Madness, the annual downtown Bradford shopping event, is no more.
This weekend a new tradition begins. Those looking for good deals should get their Passport to Bradford to qualify for drawings and giveaways at Bradford Autumn Fest on Oct. 1 and 2.
For half a century, Midnight Madness was held in early November with businesses offering tremendous bargains.